The Matinee ’23 v. 028, which is the second half of our March 3rd doubleheader, is another mind-bending, musical experience, featuring eight songs from seven artists and bands. While there is much joy to be taken from these tunes, there also is sadness as we bid farewell to one of Canada’s great indie bands of the past ten years. That’s where we begin on this edition.

If you have not already, listen to the other seven songs in Part 1. All 15 tunes featured today have been added to the Songs of March and April 2023, which is available on Spotify and SoundCloud

To go directly to the song of your choice, click on the link below.

Dilly Dally – “Colour of Joy” & “Morning Light” (Toronto, Canada)

RIYL: Desperate Journalist, False Advertising, Black Honey

A reason to celebrate today – Dilly Dally‘s long-awaited return after a brief hiatus. A reason to be sad – the band announced they are parting ways. After nearly a decade together, Katie Monks (vocals, guitars), Liz Ball (lead guitar), Jimmy Tony (bass), and Benjamin Reinhartz (drums) have decided to pursue new projects. While the thought of what lies ahead is exciting, there still is remorse that, barring a reunion, this will be the last time we’ll get to hear one of the great Canadian indie bands of the past ten years. The quartet, however, leave on a remarkable high, self-releasing two face-melting singles. 

The first is “Colour of Joy”, which is a vibrant and exhilarating piece of post-punk. It commences with a sobering, Gothic tone, reminiscent of the stark qualities of many UK bands, such as Desperate Journalist. As the track progresses, the darkness gradually subsides and light enters, opening widely at its euphoric climax. In her trademark, piercing vocal, Monks proclaims how she and someone close have been able to get themselves out of a sinking situation and now see the light and the colours that emerge. They have found their path…

…which brilliantly leads to “Morning Light” and the start of a new day. Entering the realm of cathartic, British art-rock, Dilly Dally unleash an uplifting anthem. Glistening guitars, rumbling percussion, and a pulsating bass create a sense of both urgency and excitement. This is the sound of a band that once “lost my will / lost my way”, but they have found their footing once again. It’s just that they will be doing it separately. The positive is that maybe we’ll get to hear four brand new projects that will blow our minds like Dilly Dally did time and time again since 2014.

Tickets for Dilly Dally’s final show, which takes place on May 27th at Toronto’s Lee’s Palace, are available at 10AM EST today

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Momma – “Bang Bang” (Brooklyn via Los Angeles, USA)

RIYL: Garbage, Veruca Salt, Elastica

Last year released, Momma released the wicked Household Names. By wicked, we’re channeling the ’90s to denote its greatness, plus the LP was a great tribute to the grunge and alternative rock of that era. If Etta Friedman and Allegra Weingarten continue on this trajectory, it’s not out of the realm of possibility to think they can be the 2020s version of Veruca Salt or Garbage. They also could deviate into No Doubt territory. This, however, is for another day because their first single of 2023 is another nod to yesteryear.

Grunge with some gauziness, the duo unleash a gritty, head-spinning track in “Bang Bang”, which sounds like Garbage in their heyday. A feverish guitar drives the track, creating an eye-opening intensity and urgency. A surprise, though, arrives in the bridge, where a piano takes over, allowing the longtime friends to look inward and assess their role in this tongue-in-cheek tale about lust, desire, and sex. They talk about fantasies, phone sex, and secretive rendez-vous. Such thoughts occurred to them – and likely countless others – during the days of lockdowns, where the only companionship one had was their imaginations.

The single is out on Polyvinyl Record Co. and Lucky Number Music.

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Ritual Forms – “Sad Boys” (London, England)

RIYL: Lana Del Rey + Massive Attack + Boy Harsher

Yesterday, Ritual Forms‘ debut album, Nighttime Economy, was released. It is a striking LP that sees the band formerly known as Sykoya enter darker and more Gothic soundscapes. Previously-released singles, “Dreaming”, “Down”,  and “Bury Me”, revealed how Anna Marcella, Curtis ElVidge, and Joe Cross are able to create atmospheres that are enticing yet unsettling. As another sample of what is on the album, sit back and allow “Sad Boys” to devour you.

The LP’s third single is seductively ravenous. Marcella’s cool, calm, and alluring vocal has a touch of Lana Del Rey, and her words have a similar poetry to the famed singer-songwriter’s lyricism. Through the lingering guitar, the patient stutters of the percussion, and the light tingles of the keys, she speaks out against the boys and men who choose to live by Draconian rules. The guys who see themselves as the pillars of society and all to serve them. In the end, though, they are the fulls looking up.

So, how does it feel to be the best?
Is it that nice, is it that nice?
Looking down at all of the rest
Was it worth the price, was it worth the price”

Nighttime Economy is a must-listen on Bandcamp or wherever you purchase / stream your music.

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Proteins Of Magic – “Divine Physics” (Tāmaki Makaurau (Auckland), New Zealand & Nashville, USA)

RIYL: ANOHNI, Kae Tempest, Aldous Harding

A recent story circulating on news sites concerns how people are less likely to seek new music as they get older. We’re not sure who participated in these different studies over time, but these individuals are missing out on the spectacular innovation happening today. They would miss out on talents like Kelly Sherrod, who also is known as Proteins of Magic.

Sherrod may not be a household name, she has been active since the start of the Century, performing with various bands, including Punches and Dimmer. Only at the end of the 2010s did she embark on a solo career, which has seen her deliver symphonic harmonies (as heard on her self-titled debut LP) to more theatrical experimentalism, such as on “Lethal” and “Third Wish”. To round out this trilogy of Sherrod’s new chapter, she pulls away the curtain to reveal “Divine Physics”.

A simple piano arrangement accompanies Sherrod’s haunting vocal in the track’s first half. Despite the minimalist approach, one is immediately captivated by the tension that exists between the two. Sherrod’s words add to this effect, as she melds together fantasy and reality, nature vs. man, and consciousness pitted against our subconscious. When the bridge arrives with the adversarial components intensifying and harmonies being layered under Sherrod’s voice, her words take on an added dimension and power. 

“Devil clipped your ticket too
Tore my heart out just to find you
Coyote screams where you used to be
I crossed a line to cut you free

Do you hear the voices say?
It’s a war cry on your birthday!
An angel plays a broken flute
Gaffa taped and riding you”

Absolutely spectacular.

“Divine Physics” is taken from Sherrod’s new EP, Angel Hieroglyphics, which is expected in the spring via Particle Recordings

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Nova One – “Crying” (Providence, RI, USA)

RIYL: Mitski + Babehoven + Lucy Dacus

The music of Nova One has so many qualities of today’s most important songwriters, chief among them being honesty. Paired with her voice and dreamy instrumentals, Roz Raskin revealed her emotions on her fantastic throwback-sounding, debut record, lovable, in 2020. In February, Raskin released a new single, “dangerous”, and fittingly for its name, it sounded like it had much more of an edge than previous Nova One tunes. Its fuzzy, shoegaze sound was as intense as it was enthralling.

Raskin’s newest single, “crying”, dials things back to a more intimate level. The track commences with just some single notes on a guitar and her whispery voice, which is occasionally entwined with harmonies. These impactful first moments give way to a fantastic slow build, as drums and subtle hints of keyboard enter. A bass comes in and syncs itself with Raskin’s simple guitar line. Before you know it, “crying” is huge with guitar chords reverberating as Raskin’s voice pleads powerfully. Then it all erupts with some fuzz and twang before it all comes to a close. “crying” is a perfect evolution on the sounds that made that first Nova One record notable, and bridges that gap to the big sounds on “dangerous”. 

Create Myself is out March 31st on Community Records. You can pre-order it on Bandcamp.

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Yves Tumor – “Heaven Surrounds Us Like a Hood” (Turin, Italy via Miami, USA)

RIYL: Frank Ocean +  Dev Hynes + Serpentwithfeet

Yves Tumor has few comparables. The Miami native is a musical genius. Like most geniuses, they shy away from the spotlight, choosing instead to allow their music to speak for them. To spend a day with Tumor while he’s writing and recording music would likely be an unforgettable experience. Until that day comes, we can appreciate the end product and just be in awe as he releases songs like “Heaven Surrounds Us Like a Hood”.

Building on last year’s “God Is a Circle”, Tumor’s newest single tackles the role of religion in our daily affairs. The subject matter seems fitting given how people are using religious doctrine to rationalize their behaviors, thoughts, and beliefs even if nothing in scripture would lend credence to them. Tumor’s voice is filtered through autotune, sounding omnipresent. As waves of guitar, rhythms, and synth cascade around him and form a tumultuous vortex, they describe how a young Yves Tumor likely could not exist in world that revolved around a single set of morals. 

“I met a boy with no head
I Looked into his eyes
you know he was so pure at heart
For a moment we became each other

We found a love that made us slowly fall apart
I see the color red in so many places
This world feels so ugly when life makes a fool of us
Sweet boy”

Tumor’s new album, Praise A Lord Who Chews But Which Does Not Consume; (Or Simply, Hot Between Worlds), is out March 17th on Warp Records. Pre-orders available here and on Bandcamp.

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Jana Horn – “The Dream” (Austin, USA)

RIYL: Tiny Ruins + Indigo Sparke + Bedouine

Sometimes too much polish can remove the finer and more intriguing details. That’s what happened when Jana Horn recorded what was supposed to be her debut record. But after listening to the record, it sounded too good, so she took another approach. That energy of embracing the imperfections is what makes her music and her debut record Optimism, which was re-released last year on No Quarter Records, genuine. It’s a mindset that’s carried over to Horn’s upcoming record, The Window Is The Dream, and its first single “After All This Time”, which was released in January.

The second song Horn has shared from her sophomore record is the haunting “The Dream”. Things start off almost stumbling out of the gate. Some feedback, lightly-strummed guitar chords, and a simple beat greet listeners in. Once Horn’s voice comes in, however, the track begins to hit its stride. Occasionally, Horn is accompanied by harmonies, and sometimes her words are broken up by some unpredictable guitar playing with some feedback kicking in underneath. It always feels like it’s on the verge of chaos but it never truly gets there, Horn somehow keeping it all together. 

The Window Is The Dream is out April 7th via No Quarter Records. Pre-order on Bandcamp or these links.

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